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Hepatitis C will be eradicated as a public health problem in Norway

drug addictDrug addict.Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

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Anyone who is infected with hepatitis C will now be offered free treatment, says the Norwegian Directorate of Health, which will reduce the incidence by 90 percent by 2023.

“Hepatitis C is a serious health problem due to the risk of developing cirrhosis, liver failure and primary liver cancer. Our goal is that no one in Norway will die or become seriously ill from hepatitis C virus in the future,” says health director Bjørn Guldvog.

The people most susceptible to this disease are drug users who share needles and people who have been treated in hospitals abroad.

In connection with this, all municipalities must now have schemes that make user equipment for injection free and easily available to all drug user who inject and who live or temporarily reside in the municipality, as well as several other measures, says the Norwegian Directorate of Health.

Patients will not pay a deductible for the examination or treatment of the disease, and will receive a full refund.

It is estimated that around 10,000 people in Norway have chronic hepatitis C, and that between 300 and 400 people are infected annually. Many are unaware that they are infected and may be ill for several years before developing symptoms of liver disease.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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